Why is it used with Dativ here:

"Wir gehen zusammen aus dem Haus."

but not

"Wir gehen zusammen aus das Haus"?

Just like we should use Akkusativ in "Wir gehen in die Schule"(movement) and Dativ in "Wir sind in der Schule"(location).

  • Your question has a mistake. We use Akkusativ in ""Wir gehen in die Schule" and Dativ in "Wir sind in der Schule". The latter is because we are specifying the place, and not the movement. I corrected your post so it won't be misleading for other learners. Please make sure to ask your question not in the topic but in the main body.
    – Dan
    Oct 6, 2019 at 2:27
  • Thank you @Dan for correcting the question.
    – cendahoang
    Oct 6, 2019 at 2:39

4 Answers 4


This is because there are prepositions like

mit, nach, aus, zu, von, bei

that ALWAYS take Dative, even if this is indeed a movement in a direction. Another example with zu: (movement towards something):

Ich gehe zu dem Arzt

To make the above list more complete, the following prepositions are also only used with Dativ:

ab, außer, seit, entgegen, gegenüber.

  • 5
    It's not movement vs. position but direction vs position.
    – Janka
    Oct 6, 2019 at 3:50
  • Well, where there's direction, there is movement. Auch wenn in its latent form. But I guess it would make the answer better if I added this neben movement...
    – Dan
    Oct 6, 2019 at 3:54
  • 3
    @Dan: No. Take the sentence: »Die Statue starrt seit Jahrhunderten in den Wald.« There is absolutely no movement in this sentence, not even the tiniest latent movement. A statue is absolutely unable to move. And to gaze into the same direction over many centuries is no kind of movement. But there very clearly is a direction. So, Janka is right and you are wrong. It's not movement vs. position but direction vs. position. Oct 6, 2019 at 7:32
  • @HubertSchölnast Can you give me more examples of these cases please? Thank you
    – cendahoang
    Oct 6, 2019 at 9:21
  • @cendahoang Yes, I think I can, and maybe also others can too. Just ask, this is what is site was made for: german.stackexchange.com/questions/ask Oct 6, 2019 at 11:48

The case is not only subject to the direction of motion, but rather to the preposition that ist used:

Wir gehen zu dem Haus
Wir gehen in das Haus

You need to know which prepositions require which case.


I guess this stems from Latin as it is similar in Russian:

Static location goes with dative: im Wasser / aufm Wasser

Target movement goes with accusative: ins Wasser / aufs Wasser


As I said elsewhere before--and though I'm not sure about the whole thing, it is anyway helpful here for illustrative purposes--try to think of "in das" as "in's", which it will be in the majority of cases in spoken German, and equate En "into" (compare "tooth" ~ "Zahn", read "inz", and note that the definite articles are an innovation that replaced earlier Germanic *sa; The difference may be merely prosodic), e.g. "in's Wasser gefallen". It is possible that "into" was an innovation as well, but that's besides the point.

Compare zur (seemingly "zu der"), "dar", En "there", etc. as well as the fixed expression "außer Haus" (outta house), and it should become obvious that the final consonants are morphemic, not mere contractions (they may be, but I don't wherefrom; "aus" for one can be reconstructed down to the Proto-Indo-European level with a dental consonant).

Pressumably, "aus dem Haus" had been ablative before, literally the case of coming from somewhere. This potentially fell in with "außer", whatever case that was. We see that some confusion arose, evident from "außerdem" ("apart from that, in addition to that)" which seems to mix cases. We see different endings in the same cases for different genders, or the same endings for different genders, and they do not agree accross the descendent languages from which Proto-Germanic is reconstructed.

So, in short, the answer is: because it's messed up is why. In long, there are good estimates of what it originally was (better than mine anyhow), but why it is what it is would involve a lot of guess work. I won't say that nominative had replaced ablativ, because nominative is primarily a case for subjects. Dativ is a real posibility, though, as far as I can tell. Compare "außen" (outside, outdoor), "draußen" (dar+außen, outside), vs "aus'em" (aus+dem). A few regional dialects do say "aus den".

  • Could you elaborate on why "zum/zur" or "zu der/dem"?
    – Dan
    Oct 7, 2019 at 10:02

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